Artists' Salary Fund Increased and Expanded Skip to content

Artists’ Salary Fund Increased and Expanded

By Andie Sophia Fontaine

Minister Lilja Alfreðsdóttir
Photo: Golli. Minister Lilja Alfreðsdóttir.

Parliament has approved both increasing and expanding the Artists’ Salary Fund, adding changes to a law that has not been updated in 15 years.

More salary months, two new funds

The board of the fund works under the auspices of the Minister of Education and Culture, to whom individuals working in the arts–whether they be visual artists, writers, musicians, stage performers and the like–can apply to receive government funding, which is then paid out to them on a monthly basis.

In an announcement from Minister of Education and Culture Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, she reports that those salary months have been increased from 1,600 to 2,490 over the next four years.

Furthermore, two new funds have been created: a screenwriter’s fund and Vegsemd, a fund specifically for artists aged 67 and older.

Revenue and cultural importance

“I am utterly pleased that my colleagues in Parliament have seen the opportunity that comes with investing in our artists,” Lilja says. “It is often forgotten in discussions [about the fund] that the artists do not just enrich the spirit but also revenue. There are examples of projects that received funding for six months that led to a three-year project that generated 7.5 million ISK in tax revenue.”

Apart from tax revenue, the Minister also emphasised the importance of the fund for more philosophical reasons.

“Revenue is one thing, that does matter, but nurturing our self-image as a nation matters no less,” Lilja continues. “What kind of environment do we want to live in and what do we want to offer our artists? It is necessary to ensure that our artists want to live and work here,” adding that many artists who have accepted artists’ salaries have subsequently gained global recognition.

More information about the Artists’ Salary Fund can be found here.

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